Hi, I'm Tricia, and organic gardener. Grapes are a beautiful edible landscapeplant, as well as producing delicious fruit. Today I'm going to plant a new grapevine. If you're not ready to plant your grapesas soon as they arrive, that's ok, you can heel them in. You can either dig a shallow trench, put the grape vines in and cover the roots with soil, or you can do like I've done and put the roots in a bucket, cover them with soil and protect themwith a little bit of straw.
Grapes are tolerant of a wide variety of soils, but it is important to check with your Master Gardener or local ag extension to find out what varieties will do best in your climate. Your site selection should be in fullsun with a southern exposure, away from trees. And avoid depressions where cool air can collect. Ideally, preparation for planting yourgrapes will start the year before with a soil test and an appropriate cover crop. Grapes like moderate fertilityand a pH of about 5.5 7. In most climates you can plant grapes in late winter or early spring.
For northern climates you might want towait until a little bit later in the spring. Just dig a hole the same size as theroots and don't add any fertilizer. You don't want to get more leaves than fruit! Soak the roots of your grapevine forabout 2 to 3 hours before planting, and then you can prune off any damaged roots. But it's important to leave as much of the root system as possible. Make sure that the roots are loose andnot clumped together. The hole should be deep enough to plantthe vine to the same level it was planted before,
with a few inches of soilover the longest roots. Gently back fill the soil with thetopsoil first. And if it hasn't rained recently make sure and give your plant some water. You want to train your newly plantedlittle grapevine to grow into a big grapevine with a straight single trunk reaching the trellis. In order to do that we're going to prune this plant so that it has one straightish cane. By the second year you need some kind of a support system. This two wire support system is very common and easy to build.
To train your grapevine to grow straight upto the trellising, you may need to do a temporary supportlike bamboo and then just tie it togetherwith a little twine or some tape. These are flame grapes, so I'll betraining them to a bilateral cordon. That is I want a nice straight trunk. And then I'll choose two buds that will be trained into big, permanent branches on either side of the trunk. It's really important to tag your plants.I use these permanent zinc plant tags
its really important to know what variety you have so that you can prune appropriately. Whether you have a big vineyard or you'vejust planted a few grape vines, grapes will benefit from cover cropping. So get ready for winter pruning,and Grow Organic for Life!.
Seed Germination Scarification Stratification and Soaking
Hi, I'm Tricia, and organic gardener. Starting plants from seed can be a lot of fun, however it can also be tough, because some plants have seeds that are hard to germinate. Today I'm going to give you some tips on how to germinate those tough seeds. Some seeds have characteristics that serve them well in the wild, but can be frustrating for the gardener. I'm talking about dormancy periods, tough seed coats, and even light requirements. There are few different things we can do to increase the chances of germination. Scarification, stratification and soaking.
And all must be done with love in your heart! Scarification is used on seeds that have a tough outer shell, like nasturtium and morning glory. You can think of it as scarring the seed coat to allow in moisture and gases necessary for germination. If you're using the file, you don't want to scratch the seeds too much, just enough that the seeds are dulled and you can see the scratches. If you use the nail clippers, you want a definite knick in the seed coat. Another method of scarification is to put the seeds in very hot, but not boiling water. Put them in the water and then let the water cool down to room temperature,
and then let them soak for another 1224 hours. Plant the seeds immediately after soaking. Some seeds need what is called stratification. This process mimics the natural freeze and thaw cycles that some seeds require in order to germinate. Wildflowers and perennial flowers are often planted in the fall and they may stratify naturally. Or, you can ensure that this process happens with a few simple steps. To stratify the seed, we're just gonna mix it with a little bit of moist, not wet, perlite, vermiculite, or builder's sand. Mix the seed and medium in a plastic bag, you want 1 part seed to 3 parts medium.
Place the bag in the refrigerator, not the freezer, for about 10 12 weeks, and check it every so often to make sure that the medium stays moist. After that period, take the bag out and plant the seeds along with the medium. Be gentle with the seeds, in case any have sprouted. There's scarification, stratification and then there's just plain old soaking of the seeds for about 1224 hours in room temperature water. And seeds like beans, peas and okra benefit a lot from this soaking. Parsley is a special case.
The seeds from parsley are actually coated naturally with a substance that retards germination. It really helps to soak the parsley seeds for 48 hours, and change the water twice. For some seeds, they don't need soaking, they don't need scarring, but the amount of light that they get while they're germinating is important. For example, alyssum needs light to germinate, so it's planted very shallow. On the other hand, fennel will not germinate unless it's in total darkness, so you'll plant it deeper. If you want to learn more about starting your own seeds, I recommend this book quot;The New Seed Starter Handbook.quot;
So start your own seeds, and Grow Organic for Life!.